In-Relationship with Self (Up In Out #2)

Sermon Synopsis

In our journey of faith, we often hear about the importance of loving God and loving others. But what about loving ourselves? How does self-love fit into the equation? In this blog post, we will explore the concept of loving God, loving self, and loving others, and how finding balance in these relationships can lead to a more fulfilling and joyful life.

Loving God: Putting Him First

The foundation of our relationships is our love for God. Erin emphasizes the importance of putting God first in our lives. He reminds us of the greatest commandment, as stated in Mark 12:30-31: 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' This means that God should have the prominent place in our affections, our identity, and every aspect of our lives.

Loving Self: Finding a Healthy View

While it is crucial to love God, we must also learn to love ourselves properly. Erin acknowledges that many of us struggle with self-loathing, beating ourselves up mentally, and feeling unworthy of love. On the other hand, some may struggle with self-worship, thinking too highly of themselves and seeking attention and validation from others. Both extremes hinder us from fulfilling the command to love our neighbor as ourselves.

The gospel brings correction to both sides of the spectrum. It reminds us that we are sinners, far more sinful than we realize. However, it also reveals that we are deeply loved by God. Jesus died on the cross for our sins out of immense love. Understanding our worth in Christ helps us find a healthy view of ourselves, neither thinking too low nor too high. We are valuable, loved, and worthy of love because of what Jesus has done for us.

Loving Others: Putting Them Before Ourselves

With a balanced view of God and self, we can now love others as Jesus loved. Pastor Erin highlights the importance of putting off our old selves, the self-loathing and self-worship, and putting on Christ's character. This includes having compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and peace. We are called to consider the needs of others before our own, to love and serve them selflessly.

Living out this command requires a daily process of putting off and putting on. We need to regularly remind ourselves of the gospel and allow it to shape our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. By doing so, we can break free from the selfish tendencies of our culture and live a life of love and service to those around us.

Finding Balance: Practical Steps

To practically apply these principles in our lives, Erin suggests the concept of 'putting off and putting on' from the book of Colossians. We are to put off our old selves with their negative practices and put on the new self, which is being renewed in the image of its creator. This involves confessing our self-loathing and self-worship, surrendering them to Jesus, and embracing our identity in Him.

Pastor Erin encourages us to engage in a time of prayer where we can physically symbolize putting off and putting on. By closing our eyes, holding our hands open to release our negative thoughts and behaviors, and then flipping our hands to receive the truth of God's love and acceptance, we can experience a tangible reminder of the transformation that takes place when we align our relationships with God, self, and others.

Living a Life of Love

As we strive to love God, love ourselves, and love others, we can experience a life of joy and fulfillment. When we prioritize our relationship with God, find a healthy view of ourselves through the gospel, and selflessly love and serve those around us, we reflect the love of Jesus to the world.

Let us embrace the challenge of finding balance in our relationships and allow the transformative power of the gospel to shape our hearts and actions. May we live out the command to love God, love ourselves, and love others, bringing hope and healing to a broken world.

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